Major Shandong meeting reaps whirlwind of deals

By Yuan Shenggao| (China Daily)| Updated : 2018-10-01

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Organizers say event secured widespread interest in province's investment potential

Shandong province reaped a whirlwind of business deals at the Conference of Great Business Partners last week, securing 130 deals worth 536.62 billion yuan ($78 billion) in total, according to the organizers.

The contracts covered a variety of sectors, each of them expected to begin being honored within one year after the conference, officials from the provincial government said.

The host province showcased its industrial strengths, rich resources and business-friendly environment during the event, which ran from Friday to Sunday in its capital, Jinan.

The Shandong Development and Reform Commission presented 600 selected investment projects from across the province at the conference, seeking investors from China and abroad.

They showed off the enormous opportunities for fostering emerging industries and upgrading traditional sectors in the province, local officials said.

The majority of the projects were from 10 key fields that receive priority support from local authorities.

Among the industries are new-generation information technology, advanced machinery, new energy and materials, intelligent maritime engineering, healthcare and eco-friendly chemicals.

Culture and creativity, tourism, finance and modern agriculture were also on the list.

As a traditional manufacturing hub in China, Shandong boasts well-established industrial foundations and a skilled labor force, which have also helped to power its high-tech sectors into an economic boom.

The advanced manufacturing industry has grown into a major engine, driving the growth of the local economy.

Last year saw the annual output of industrial robots in the province jump 60.7 percent from a year earlier.

In 2017, the province's yearly output of urban rail vehicles surged by 80.2 percent year-on-year and that of new energy vehicles increased by three times.

Behind the boom in the advanced manufacturing industry are a group of local companies, each capable of generating more than 10 billion yuan in annual business revenue.

They include automobile and equipment manufacturer Weichai Group, high-tech company Inspur, China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, high-speed train manufacturer CRRC Qingdao Sifang and carmaker SGMDongyue - a joint venture of leading industrial players in the sector SAIC-GM, SAIC Motor and GM China.

Shandong's goal is to build itself into a leading production and innovation hub in the country, with the advanced manufacturing industry's value added projected to reach 530 billion yuan in 2022, an estimated 5.3 percent of the province's GDP then.

In the information technology industry, Shandong ranked third nationwide in terms of the information technology industrial output last year, after Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, local media reported.

In Shandong, businesses related to cloud computing, big data and the internet of things have registered an average annual compound growth rate of 20 percent over the past five years, data from the provincial government showed.

Also, the coastal province is at the forefront of the country in terms of maritime business, including fishing, sea salt output, maritime engineering equipment and construction, and the production of marine petroleum and oceanic medicines.

The province's maritime businesses generated 1.48 trillion yuan in yearly production value in 2017, an increase of 8 percent on 2016.

As a powerhouse of agroproducts, last year Shandong ranked top of the country by the yields of vegetables, fruits, and meat and aquatic products.

Agricultural exports from the province exceeded $17 billion last year, an increase of 7.2 percent from 2016, contributing one-quarter of China's total agricultural exports and ranking it top of the country for the 19th consecutive year.

Shandong is rich in natural resources and generations of efforts have paved the way for another success story, Liu Jiayi, Party chief of the province, said at a government working meeting in July.

The province needs to make full use of its traditional advantages in terms of its geographic location, industries, marine business, education and culture sectors, and turn them into modern strengths to give itself a new lease on life, Liu noted.


From left: China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, also known as SinoTruk, which is headquartered in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, displays its product lineup at an exhibition in Russia. A group of investment project agreements are signed at the 2018 Yantai Investment Promotion and Talent Attraction Forum, part of the Conference of Great Business Partners last week.Photos provided to China Daily


From left: Hao Mingjin, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress, Liu Jiayi, Party chief of Shandong province, Ding Zhaozhong, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Shandong Governor Gong Zheng mark the launch of the online platform “Select Shandong” at the conference last week. Fang Xiangang / For China Daily


Shandong is rich in cultural resources. Tourism is one of the province's top 10 industries to develop in its efforts toward economic transformation. Provided to China Daily